CDC spearheads multi-agency response to wild fires


The Civil Defence Commission (CDC) on Saturday spearheaded a multi-agency response to the recent wildfires countrywide, as directed by the nation’s Prime Minister, Brigadier
(Ret’d) Mark Phillips.

This initiative comes on the heels of several reports from various sectors of Guyana over the past weeks indicating a surge in brush fires, wildfires and forest fires due to the current dry season.

Members of the meeting included representatives from the Guyana Fire Service (GFS), Guyana Police Force (GPF), Guyana Defence Force (GDF), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Guyana Water Inc. (GWI), Guyana Livestock Development Agency (GLDA), National
Agricultural Research Institute (NAREI), Protected Areas Commission (PAC), Ministry of Health, Ministry of Housing and Water, and the Forestry Commission. Significant contributions were made, which resulted in several points of action for an efficient response.

Loggers in the Kwakwani/Hururu/Bisaruni areas will be asked to use their skidders to create fire breaks to combat spreading forest fires. This mission will be led by the Forestry Commission, with CDC and Ministry of Natural Resources providing critical support.

Improvised firefighting equipment such as trucks, tractors, and trailers armed with hoses and pumps, will be deployed in all areas that will engage auxiliary fire fighters from Community Policing Groups (CPGs). The CDC will provide the necessary Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to maintain responders’ safety. Additionally, heightened surveillance using drones, satellite data, local aircraft, CPGs, GPF and Rangers will be activated. Enforcement for residents who deliberately set fires to garbage piles and other debris will be ramped up in at-risk areas. Dumpsites, construction hubs and roadways will also be monitored. Water sources across the country will be closely supervised to ensure that there is an adequate supply available for fire fighting measures. Finally, a robust and joint public education and awareness campaign is underway to consistently inform residents of what they can
do to aid the fight against these fires. This particular effort will see information emanating from CDC, GFS, EPA, NAREI and GLDA.

Mobilization of resources will be an ongoing process as the Government of Guyana aims to
minimize vulnerabilities while the dry spell continues. Persons are asked to contact 912 in the event of a fire emergency, their local RDC or NDC representative, Toshao or village head, or the National Emergency Monitoring System (NEMS) on 600-7500 at any time.